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AAA Editor Notes
Tijuana Cultural Center (Centro Cultural Tijuana, or CECUT) is on Paseo de los Héroes between calles Javier Mina and Centenario, just n. of the Plaza Río shopping center in the Zona Río section of downtown. This modern, well-maintained cultural/museum complex is a refreshing contrast to Tijuana's raucous bars and myriad souvenir stands. It includes a history museum, an aquarium, the giant, orb-shaped Cine IMAX theater (with daily showings in English), a 1,000-seat performing arts theater (Sala de Espectáculos), a photography gallery, the El Cubo temporary exhibit gallery, a bookstore and an outdoor sculpture garden (Jardín Caracol).

The Museum of the Californias (Museo de las Californias) has varied exhibits on the Baja peninsula's natural history, the Spanish conquest of Mexico (including a large-scale replica of a 16th-century sailing ship), scale models of Baja missions and historical artifacts from bowls, baskets and battle armor to flags, antique mining tools, period weaponry and hand-drawn maps.

An exhibit about the history of Tijuana features a panoramic rendering of downtown TJ circa 1924, vintage postcards and restaurant menus, bullfight posters and other memorabilia. Exhibit information is given in both Spanish and English. A children's interactive play area has a Spanish galleon that kids can climb inside and a playroom with tables for coloring and other activities.

At the rear of the complex is a dark, cave-like aquarium displaying more than 500 aquatic species, including many native to Baja California waters. A few dozen tanks hold everything from eels and seahorses to small sharks and rays; background information is provided in both Spanish and English.

Sunday jazz, pop and rock concerts take place on the paved concourse in front of the main entrance, which also is the setting for art and craft fairs and other events. “Baja P” buses drop passengers off here from the border. Yellow tourist taxi fare from the border is about $6 (U.S.).

Food is available.

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